Judy Crockett

Judy Crockett
Judy Crockett

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bob Proctor Friday Story - The Secret

Here is your Friday story,

Your Wish Is My Command!

I am gong to take a little idea from The Secret - and expand upon it - and also introduce a principle to those of you who haven't yet seen The Secret. I recommend that you do see it as soon as possible!

OK - here's the principle: That each and every thought you have is actually heard by your very own genie!

Stick with me here - because I do understand just how challenging this suggestion might be to some of you. I'm asking you to look at this light-heartedly - as it doesn't have to shake your foundations completely - it can be absorbed in a light-hearted way - and used in the same manner.

We've all been getting told for years to "be careful what you ask for - you just might get it"!

Some of us have been told this in a light hearted way; some in the form of a joke; some in the form of reference to prayer in a religious sense; and some in a very serious way. Whichever way we tend to view this - it is in itself part of the relationship we have with our genie... our thought processes.

The Law of Attraction which is the main focus of The Secret, is about owning what we create within our lives - and taking responsibility for our thoughts and understanding just how powerful they can be.

OK - the genie principle.

I truly believe that if each of us can embrace the simple idea that we have a friendly genie paying attention to each and every thought we have - then we will learn to grasp in a light-hearted way that we do actually create our own results in life.

If we can imagine that each thought (and our verbalizing of those thoughts) is being heard, and responded to like this; "OK - your wish is my command"! "I'll get right onto that for you"!

Whether the thoughts and words we use are positive - or negative - the results will be in alignment with those thoughts and words. Too many sages down through the ages and into the present have been agreeing on this for too long for it not to be true!

Remember - the votes have been unanimous for centuries!

What we think - we will manifest!
What we think - we will become!

What we think - we will continue to think - unless we take action to change our habitual thinking.

Thinking that has been put there by life; by our experiences in life; by other people who have had the same thought patterns put there by life; by their experiences in life; and by other people in their lives... and so it goes. Generations of thoughts which have created reality for millions of people - have been passed down to us.

Right now we all have a choice: To continue living under other people's opinions passed down to us about life; or to embrace change here and now and begin to create our own positive thoughts based upon a few pinnacle principles...

Unconditional Love; Abundance; Forgiveness; Spiritual Awareness; Inner Peace (which will spread to your community, then to your state, then to your country, and eventually globally); Deserving; Kindness; and Mind/Body/Spirit balance.

Of course there are other pinnacle principles on which to base new thoughts and ideas - but those just given above are some of the main ones necessary for each of us to manifest abundance, good health, a balanced lifestyle, peace and happiness in our lives.

I am very aware that many of you reading this will already be relating to your own genie as being God, and of course I encourage and respect that thought process, and the feelings surrounding those beliefs. My reasoning in writing this is to encourage a light-hearted aspect to our relationship with our thought processor.

A genie is something that most of us can actually visualize - so being capable of visualizing someone taking notes - then acting on those notes - is one slightly different way to view the importance of how our thoughts turn into reality!

May you and your genie have a sensational week together.

Remember: "What others do or say is their stuff; how we react, or not, is our stuff"!

© Phil Evans

Phil Evans is a Motivator, Business Coach and Inspirational Writer based in Australia. You can visit his website at: www.peoplestuff.com.au or feel free to email Phil with your comments on his story at: phil@peoplestuff.com.au

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

League of Women Voters Position on Proposals

League Opposes Ballot Proposals 2 and 5
The League of Women Voters (LWV) has taken positions opposing both
Proposal 06-2, the anti-affirmative action proposal, and Proposal 06-5,
known as the "K-16" school funding proposal. Although the LWV never
supports or opposes candidates for elected office, it does take
positions on selected public policy issues.

Proposal 06-2: The LWV continues to support affirmative action. It has
become clear that the term "affirmative action" is widely
misunderstood. It is NOT the selection of an unqualified female or
minority over other candidates who are qualified. In fact, federal
regulations explicitly prohibit that. Affirmative action addresses this
question: Who gets the job (contract, placement) among a number of
qualified candidates when there are more QUALIFIED applicants than
positions? Affirmative action is about expanding options for women and
minorities; it is about inclusion, not exclusion. It is a tool to
promote fair decision-making, not about unfair preferences.

Affirmative action programs counteract continuing injustice caused by
discrimination in education, hiring and contracting. Will such
injustice disappear if affirmative action disappears? No, rather, one
way of addressing inequality will be lost. The LWV believes that
Proposal 2 supporters are not acting in the best interests of
Michigan's citizens. We urge a NO vote on Proposal 06-2.

Proposal 6-05: The League of Women Voters has traditionally supported
adequate funding for education and recognizes the serious financial
problems faced by our public education system. However, LWVMI
believes that Proposal 5 is not the appropriate solution.

LWV opposition to Proposal 5 is based primarily on the premise that
earmarking revenues or prioritizing expenses in the state's
constitution for specific purposes is unwise. The League opposed a
similar proposal in 2002 that would have earmarked the tobacco
settlement revenue for health care programs. Senate Fiscal Agency
analysis shows that if this proposal passes, there would be an
immediate mandated increase to the overall state education budget of
$566 million. The recent state budget included an increase to schools
without this proposal. The question is whether school funding levels
should remain within the control of the Legislature as they adopt the
state budget from year to year, or whether school funding increases
should be taken out of their control.

LWV is not abandoning support and advocacy for adequate funding and
better schools. However, the mandated increase will mean less money
for everything else unless the Legislature raises taxes. Either state
money will be shifted from non-mandated school programs (such as adult
education, school readiness or middle school math grants), or other
areas the state supports such as social services and public safety will
be cut, or perhaps both will be required for the Legislature to balance
the state budget.

Sixty-eight percent of the projected first year increase would be a new
mandated state funding of the teacher retirement system (MPSERS). The
mandate in what the state will be obligated to pay to the MPSERS will
make that growing expense a priority over other state budget items for
the foreseeable future. Adequate support for schools and state budget
priorities are issues that must continually be addressed. Creating
mandates without creating mandated revenue is not fiscally
responsible. The League urges citizens to vote NO on Proposal 6-05.


Michigan League For Human Services

Candidate Questions 2006

1. Medicaid is a state/federal partnership that provides health care
services to 1.5 million persons
in Michigan, 1.1 million of whom receive no cash benefits from the
state, they simply need
health care coverage. The Medicaid program has become the health care
program for low-
income families, disabled persons, and the elderly who do not have
access to, or cannot afford
private medical care coverage. Polls find strong support for the
program time and time again.
Would you be willing to advocate for resources, and if so, what
specific actions would you take
to maintain and strengthen this critical program.

2. There are currently between 800,000 and 1.1 million uninsured
persons in this state. Families
USA, in 2005, issued a report that indicates that employers in Michigan
pay $274/individual
and $730/family in increased premiums to offset the cost ofhealthcare
for the uninsured. Do
you believe it is in Michigan's best interest to pursue programs that
reduce the number of
uninsured in the state and reduce the added burden on businesses? Would
you actively support
the Governor's proposed Michigan First Healthcare Plan to reduce the
number of uninsured
people in Michigan? Specify why or why not. What other approach(es)
would you take to
reduce the number of uninsured in Michigan?

3. Between 2000 and 2004, child poverty in Michigan escalated by 29
percent, according to the
latest national Kids Count report. Roughly one of every five children
in the state lives in a
family with income below the poverty line - under $20,000 for a family
of four. Please outline
at least three strategies you would recommend to respond to the
increase and level of child
- poverty in Michigan.

4. Every day three babies die in Michigan. In the latest Kids Count
national report, Michigan
ranked 43rd among the 50 states with one of the ten highest infant
mortality rates in the country.
Recognizing the seriousness of this situation, please outline two
appropriate policy responses to
improve the state's infant mortality rate.

5. The rate of children confirmed as victims of abuse or neglect rose
by 43 percent in Michigan
between 1995 and 2004, according to the Kids Count in Michigan data
book. Most child
victims suffer from neglect rather than abuse. What role should the
state play in preventing
child abuse or neglect? What three policy options would you promote to
address prevention?

6. Many children in Michigan do not have access to quality early
childhood education programs
even though research has resoundingly demonstrated the critical and
long-term impact of the
environment and relationships in a child's early years. In some states
universal preschool
programs for four-year-olds have been instituted. What are some of the
strategies you would
use to improve access to quality early childhood programs for all

7. Because the value of the federal minimum wage has eroded
substantially over the past ten
years, the Michigan legislature recently voted to raise Michigan's
minimum wage. Please
explain your philosophy on minimum wage. How often should it be
increased in order to keep
pace with inflation? Should Michigan enact a higher minimum wage when
the federal one
becomes inadequate? If you do not believe in minimum wage at all, what
else can the state do
to ensure that workers are paid adequately for their work?

8. The federal earned income tax credit has been shown to be an
effective poverty-fighting tool,
allowing low-income Michigan residents to pay less in federal taxes and
giving a boost to local
economies. Yet many of those same Michigan workers pay far more in
state taxes than do low-
income workers in many other stales. Would you support a state earned
income tax credit for
Michigan's low-income workers, even if it means foregoing some tax cuts
for wealthy
Michigan residents?

9. Most people agree that the best way for individuals and families to
escape poverty is by having
a job that pays them enough to meet their needs. Yet many full-time
workers remain in poverty
because they do not have the skills necessary to progress to higher
paying employment. Given
that skill-building is a key to leaving poverty, what strategies would
you use to make it easier
for welfare recipients to access training that would give them
marketable skills? In what
situations should welfare recipients be allowed to substitute such
training for work?

10. Many poor and low-income workers live far from where they work, and
lack of adequate
transportation makes it difficult from many of them to get and keep a
job. This is the case in
many rural areas, and also in the city of Detroit. Please discuss
specific ways you would
address this problem.

11. As you know, there is an array of state-funded public services for
Michigan's low-income and
poor families. These services provide an important safety net for such
families; they have
dramatically improved outcomes for children and have even saved lives.
When state revenues
are low, as they are now, would you be willing to cut the funding for
any social services
programs in order to balance the budget? If so, which program funds
would you cut, and by
how much?

12. The Headlee amendment to Michigan's constitution limits state
revenues to no more than 9.5
percent of personal income. The proposed Stop OverSpending (SOS)
amendment, if adopted, would effectively replace the Headlee revenue
limit with a spending
cap starting at approximately 7.5 percent of personal income
(approximately $5 billion below
the Headlee cap), and over time, given the inflation plus population
growth limit, would assure
that the percentage of personal income supporting state services
continued to decline.
Do you support the Stop OverSpending initiative and if so, what
programs would you cut to
offset rapidly increasing health care costs and other public service
costs associated with an
aging population that will clearly outstrip the inflation plus
population growth limit that would
be established under SOS?

PKc:sfai\Candidates Questions 2006.doc/am

517,487.5436/PHONE • 517 371.4546/FAX • WWW.MILHS.ORQ

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Political Forum Oct 16 7pm LRCR

Be sure to attend the Political Forum Monday Oct 16 2006 at 7pm at the Three Fires Conference Center at the Little River Casino Resort in Manistee. The newly formed Manistee League of Women Voters will present information on the five ballot proposals - - Come and be and informed voter! In addition, a number of candidates for office will each make a presentation and will answer questions. The public will have the opportunity to present written questions for the candidates.

The Women's netWork encourages political leadership and participation - - thank the women who worked hard before us to get women the right to vote....honor those women by voting November 7. Be an informed voter and attend the forum to learn about each ballot proposal and each candidate.

Two Good Thoughts for the Day

"Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working 24 hours a day for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force."
Tom Blandi

“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you’re ready or not, to put it into action.”

– Napoleon Hill, writer

Friday, October 06, 2006

Register Now for WE-DO

There is still time to register to participate in the Women's Economic Development Outreach WE-DO Tour October 19th to be held at the Three Fires Conference Center and the Little River Casino Resort in Manistee. This half-day program will take the place of the Women's netWork regular luncheon. It kicks off at 8:00am. WE-DO is a MUST-DO to give you the information, contacts, and resources you need to take your business to the next level. It is packed with high level information, tips and ideas for top experts and executives. Sign up on line at www. we-do.net Cost is $25 Learn more on line. This is an incredible opportunity for women in our community.

Candidate Forum Oct 16. at LRCR

Voters are encouraged to attend a candidate forum that will be held at the Little River Casino Resort Three Fires Conference Center in Manistee Monday October 16th. A large number of political candidates are scheduled to participate in the forum. The Manistee League of Women Voter's will talk about ballot issues. There will be an opportunity for voters to ask questions of the candidates. This will be an evening forum. All are encouraged to attend to become more informed voters.

Learn about Mich Proposal 2

What can we do, as individuals who believe in the importance of affirmative action, to assure that Proposal 2 is defeated on November 7th? We can go to www.oneunitedmichigan.org, the website of the One United Michigan coalition, and learn all we can about this proposal. Then we can share that information with everyone around us. We cannot assume that they are aware of this vital issue and what the consequences will be if the proposal passes.
Remember to vote November 7.

Submitted by Sharron Lemmer

Friday, September 29, 2006

League of Women Voters meet Monday October 2

The next monthly meeting of the League of Women Voters, at which all public
are welcome to attend, will take place at 7 pm, Monday October 2 at
Bear Lake Manor on Main Street, Bear Lake. Guest will be Glen Zaring
who will be discussing partnership with League of Women Voters on
November election information and education initiatives.

All Manistee County Clerks are invited to attend or send information
concerning any local proposals on their ballots. For more information,
or to become a LWV Manistee County member go to
www.lwvmanisteecounty.org or call 864 5030.

Anne Magoun, State League of Women Voters President will be the guest
speaker at the Ocotber 5 evening meeting of AAUW to be held at the Lake
Bluff Audubon Center where the topic will be the shared positions of
AAUW and LWV MI on Statewide Ballot Proposals.

In mid October Voter Guides will be available in print and electronic

Dendra Best. LWV Manistee County President.

WE-DO Tour coming to Manistee Oct 19 2006



* Fourth Annual Women’s Economic Development Outreach Tour provides tips, ideas, and advice.

* Country’s leading expert on women’s entrepreneurship is keynote speaker.

* In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a portion of the registration fee will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

MANISTEE, Mich. – The national 2006 Women’s Economic Development Outreach (WEDO®) Tour is coming to Manistee, Mich. on Oct. 19. The only event of its kind for women business owners, the WEDO Tour is a half-day program packed with tips, ideas, advice and resources from the Small Business Administration and its local resource partners, business banking officers, and women who own successful companies. The Manistee event will be held at the Little River Casino Resort Three Fires Conference Center beginning at 8:00am and concluding with lunch. The cost is $25.

With 17 stops in four states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan, this year’s high-energy, fast-paced, information-packed program provides participants with an in-depth look at:

* The top ten strategies for financial growth
* Finding new customers in both the public and private sector
* Learning how to make key business decisions that impact your bottom line
* Making the most of your certification as a woman’s business enterprise

Experts will also share information regarding small business resources and contacts in the area. Each half-day program begins with networking and registration at 8 a.m. The program concludes at noon. The registration fee is $25 per person.

“The theme for the Michigan WEDO Tour is survival and success which addresses the business strategies presented and the challenges women face. Its fast-paced format delivers quick access to information of real value for women with growing businesses,” says Joni Purgiel, at National City, national sponsor of the WEDO Tour.

The Michigan WEDO Tour officially kicks off in Troy and continues throughout the state.
Oct. 16 – Troy, Mich.
Oct. 17 – Lansing, Mich.
Oct. 18 – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Oct. 19 – Manistee, Mich.
Oct. 20 – Midland, Mich.

The Keynote Speaker for the WEDO Tour is Julie Weeks.

One of the country’s leading experts on women’s entrepreneurship, Julie Weeks is CEO of Michigan-based Womenable – a research, program and policy development consultancy enabling women's entrepreneurship worldwide.

Weeks will offer her unique perspective on the globalization of women in business. “Today, women are customers, suppliers, and global partners, and whether you’re in Northern Michigan, Washington, or abroad, there are worldwide connections to be made.

There’s an international sisterhood of women business owners who can learn from each other, support each other and help to shape policy on women’s entrepreneurship. The faces may be different in Ghana, France, Australia, Korea, or Vietnam, but the issues are the same: access to capital, training, markets and networks – and being taken seriously as employers and contributors to economic growth.”

Weeks is the former executive director of Washington, D.C.-based National Women’s Business Council, a bipartisan policy advisory body, created by the U.S. Congress to serve as an independent voice of women’s entrepreneurship and advisor to the President, U.S. Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Weeks was also managing director of the Center for Women’s Business Research, a nonprofit organization that conducts research among women business owners and their enterprises.

Supporting a Good Cause.

This year, WEDO Tour participants will also contribute to a worthy cause. In recognition of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, $10 of the $25 registration fee will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and its Michigan affiliates.

For one founding member of the WEDO Tour, the partnership with the Komen Foundation strikes close to home. Pamela Valentik, senior business counselor with the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, lost both a grandmother and mother to breast cancer.

“My sister and I were only six and eight years old when our mom lost her battle with breast cancer,” said Valentik. “As a mother of two young daughters – ages two and three – I’m keenly aware that breast cancer can devastate an entire family. My hope is that we find a cure in my daughters’ lifetime.”

She added, “I’m thrilled that our statewide network is once again sponsoring the WEDO Tour to help women business owners thrive and raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.”

Space is limited and registration will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information and to register for the WEDO Tour, visit www.we-do.net or call toll-free at 888-NCB-4BIZ (622-4249).

National City is the exclusive lead sponsor of the 2006 WEDO Tour. Additional sponsors include: Derderian, Kann, Seyferth, and Salucci, CPAs; Davenport University; Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Centers – an SBA-funded program; the National Association of Women Business Owners; Crestmark Bank; UPS; and Classic Printers.

About WEDO®

Established by National City Women Business Advocates and women’s economic development organizations in 2002, WEDO® has provided thousands of women business owners with access to ideas and information on business financing, market research, sales strategies, certification, e-commerce and other topics designed to fuel business growth.

WEDO is dedicated to providing smart business solutions and resources for women-owned and managed businesses. By creating connections and building business, WEDO empowers, enlightens, and engages women in business and is committed to sharing information and access to the people and tools women in business need to succeed.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Rise of the College Woman

The Rise of the College Woman

Last February I went to a community college in Arizona to deliver some lectures about Afghanistan. Every classroom I visited had about 20 women and 10 or fewer men. I wanted to know what this was about: Were my topics keeping men away? Had extra women flocked in from other classes? Was it my movie-star good looks?

The professor shook her head. None of the above, she declared. "You're simply looking at the demographic reality of today's colleges. A lot more women are signing up than men. We don't know why, but these days, young men are tending to go right into the workforce after high school. They want to start earning money and don't feel they need college. It's a concern."

Her revelation reminded me of something. After a column I wrote recently about the benefits of college, I got a spate of e-mails from men disputing my assertions. They claimed they had gotten perfectly good jobs without college. One was a chef. Another was a car mechanic. Both were making more money than classmates who had opted for college. Another said he was making less, but he wasn't carrying a load of debt, either. He figured he'd use the money he might have spent paying back college loans to invest in real estate and thus come out ahead in the end.

These were not aimless slackers who skipped college 'cause they forgot to apply. These fellows made a deliberate and considered choice not to go.
College admissions experts have been aware of this trend for some years now. I'm told unofficially that they've been casting about for ways to attract more male applicants. That's right: affirmative action for men. You'll never hear the phrase spoken out loud, of course, but the buzz is there.

Look at the numbers
Women first outnumbered men in colleges and universities in the mid-1970s. By 1997, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, this country's total college population stood at 44 percent male, 56 percent female.

In the 1990s, the number of B.A.s earned by men rose by 8 percent. The number earned by women rose by 28 percent. In that same decade, the number of men enrolled in graduate programs went up 22 percent, but the number of women increased 66 percent. The number of part-time college students went up 1 percent among males, and 17 percent among females.

Since 1997, the trend has only accelerated. By 2009, predicts the National Center for Education Statistics, the male-to-female ratio within the college population will reach 39 to 61 percent.

Wow. The downstream consequences of this demographic reality seem obvious to me. After all, research unrelated to gender proclaims the following formula quite definitively:

More College = More Money + More Power.

If that's true, 30 years from now women will be making most of the money and they'll be running society.

That would certainly mark a turning point for civilization. Despite Greek legends about Amazons and anthropological reports of the occasional matriarchal tribe such as the Iroquois, no major society in recorded history has seen true parity of money and power between men and women. The United States would be the first.

On the other hand ...
Women have outnumbered men in college for almost 40 years now, yet they still earn about 75 cents for every dollar earned by men in comparable jobs. Obviously there's a gap between what college enables and what society allows.

Personally, I think that gap can't last. Still, social change is a tricky business. Cause-and-effect predictions are difficult because dozens of causes, most of them hidden, operate in every situation.

For example, studies show that high-status women prefer to date even higher-status men. Guys who skipped college in their youth might swell the herds heading back to school in middle age. You know--just so they can get dates.

And there's another monkey wrench rattling around in the works. When people talk about all the extra money and power a college degree can get you, they're mostly talking about technical or business degrees--about scientists and engineers. Or they're comparing the earnings of business executives who have M.B.A.s versus those who don't.

Women, despite their enthusiasm for college, are not going into technical fields. They earn, for example, only 20 percent of the engineering degrees conferred in this country each year. And they're way underrepresented in M.B.A. programs.

Closing two gaps with one blow
That famous engineering gap between the United States and certain Asian countries, the source of so much handwringing in the United States, may simply boil down to a gender gap within this country. Close the second gap and the first may disappear.

In other words, maybe we can't end our engineer shortage by pouring thousands of new science and math teachers into classrooms where half the students have no interest in science or math. Those kids won't get interested just because they're surrounded by teachers throwing homework at them.

We might do better to explore strategies for getting girls interested in hard science at an early age. Do certain instructional strategies work better with girls than boys? Do we need more mentoring programs? Or more role models? Perhaps we should coax female engineers out of the field and into education. Maybe we need TV shows about heroic female engineers. Agent 00101001. License to Drill (for oil). Software Barbie? (I'm just thinking out loud.)

The point is to draw more females into technical fields--not drive, herd, or force them, but draw them in, lure them in, intrigue them in, inspire them in. If we do, demographics might yet prove to be that force that transforms society.

Friday, July 28, 2006

LRCR Charity Golf Outing a Huge Success

On Friday, July 21, 2006 the Little River Casino Resort held their annual Charity Golf Outing. It was a full house at Manistee National Golf and Resort and the weather was perfect. The Women's Empowerment Giving Circle Fund created by the Women's netWork at the Manistee County Community Foundation is one of five recipients of the proceeds from this event.
Several women from the netWork volunteered to work at the outing and participate in events. This was a tremendous opportunity to educate others about the Women's netWork and the Giving Circle. Thanks to all who helped and donated to this event.
Please extend your thanks to the Little River Casino Resort staff and coordinator Karl Waitner. The monies we expect to receive will go a long way toward supporting the mission of the Giving Circle. Thank You!

August 17, 2006 Luncheon

The Women's netWork monthly luncheon will be held at the Tuscan Grille in downtown Manistee. The cost is $10 payable to the Tuscan Grille and it includes lunch and beverage. Time: 11:45-1:15pm. Janice Mc Craner and Kendra Thompson will report on their work with the two student mentees they began working with earlier this year as part of the Women's Empowerment Giving Circle Career Mentoring Program.
In addition, we will hold a discussion about forming a non-profit organization for the Women's netWork and creating a few teams to help with the processes we need to go through to formally organize ourselves. When the netWork was first started in May 2005, we never expected it to grow to the size it is today and we never expected so many great projects to develop as the result of the work of the netWork.
Forming a non-profit will be a wonderful opportunity to expand the programs we have started. It will open many doors to opportunities that will benefit all women and girls. Please come to the meeting prepared to share ideas and expertise. RSVP notices will be sent in early August.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Think PINK

Think PINK Watch for PINK Magazine. It is a magazine that focues on intelligently supporting women's professional development which leads to overall personal growth and fulfillment. Please check them out online at www.pinkmagazine.com The August/September 2006 issue was filled with great information. You will want to subscribe to this magazine.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Your Help is Needed.

To all of our Women’s netWork friends:

It’s been just over one year since the Women’s netWork began in Manistee County. It’s a great time to CELEBRATE!
* We have monthly networking luncheons - -with as many as 147 participants. We meet the third Thursday of each month and have delicious food along with great speakers ranging from a Michigan Supreme Court Justice to a Laugh Therapist
* We have an information-filled blog. Check it out at http://womensnetwork.blogspot.com You can find our entire history on the blog.
* We have entered the world of philanthropy by establishing the Women’s Empowerment Giving Circle Endowment at the Manistee County Community Foundation.
* We engaged in our first career-mentoring experience in Spring 2006 with mentors in the area of architecture and politics.
* With donations from area women, there is now a large Women’s netWork section of books at the Manistee County Library with titles of interest in the professional development and leadership of women.
* There are over 400 women on the Women’s netWork email list encouraging networking among women and providing resources to each other.

As we look forward to our second year, we need your help!

We are ready to become an official not-for-profit 501( c) 3 organization, and we will need your help in creating articles of incorporations, by-laws, policies and procedures.

In Fall 2006, we will be receiving a grant from the Little River Casino Resort Charity Golf Outing that will allow us to offer our very first career-based scholarships through the Women’s Empowerment Giving Circle. We will need your help in creating a process for administering the scholarship program.

We are revamping the mentoring program and we will need an advisory board. We will need to develop a strategy for selecting and screening mentors and students.

A fund development strategy needs to be created to cultivate the Giving Circle to be able to maintain scholarship programs, speakers series, mentoring opportunities and more.
Are you web-site savvy? We need YOU!!!

These ideas and more will be explored in a brainstorming session at our August 17, 2006 luncheon at the Tuscan Grille in downtown Manistee. We need your expertise, your professional experience and your enthusiasm to move the Women’s netWork to the next level.
Please plan to attend the August 17 luncheon and be sure to bring YOUR ideas. This is about YOU. How do YOU want to move this organization? We have a great thing going. We need YOU to keep it moving forward. Be sure to be prepared to sign up for an area to lend your expertise.
Please e-mail manisteewomen@yahoo.com with your thoughts and ideas…let us know how you can help.

We’ll see you at the July, 20th luncheon at the Tuscan Grille featuring guest speaker Cindy Novak and we look forward to your ideas and suggestions.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

7 ways to fight off bankruptcy

Uncommon Sense

7 ways to fight off bankruptcy

Editor's note: Columnist MP Dunleavey and eight other women have come together online to strip away the myths surrounding money, lay bare their assets and liberate themselves from debt. Follow the quest for financial fabulousness of these "Women in Red" every second Monday in Dunleavey's column on MSN Money.

Over the last two decades, bankruptcy rates among women have been rising at a frightening rate.

Some 69,000 women filed for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 1981. By 2001, according to research by Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, women filing independently or as part of a couple numbered close to a million.

As part of a small, brave band of Women in Red who struggle against the financial forces of darkness in the world, I have to ask why -- and what can we do to protect ourselves?

A lack of financial stability

Obviously, being female doesn't predispose you to bankruptcy any more than, say, having brown hair. But the research seems to indicate that women are more likely to end up in certain economic straits that can lead to bankruptcy.

Contrary to the stereotype that those who file for bankruptcy have irresponsibly spent themselves into a hole, nine out of 10 women were forced into bankruptcy by a job loss, medical emergency or divorce.

These are the same factors that send many men into bankruptcy, says Warren, co-author of "All Your Worth." But a woman's hold on economic security tends to be more tenuous to begin with -- particularly if they have children.

Warren's data, based on Chapter 7 and 13 filings, make it scarily clear:

  • For unmarried men, the bankruptcy rate was 6.3 cases per thousand.
  • For unmarried women, it was 7.2 cases per thousand.
  • For married couples without children, it was 7.4 cases per thousand.
  • For married couples with kids, the rate about doubles to 15.3 per thousand.
  • And for single women with kids, the bankruptcy rate nearly triples to 21.3 cases per thousand.

Single women alone comprise almost 40% of all bankruptcy filings.

Bankruptcy's red flags

What's going on? "Women often start off with lower incomes, and they're particularly vulnerable after a divorce, when they're typically bearing the brunt of the child-care burden," says Travis Plunkett, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America.For example, Marian, the newest member of the Women in Red, has not filed for bankruptcy. But she has many of the classic warning signs:
  • She's a single mom. When Marian's husband left eight years ago, she was left to raise her three children without any child or spousal support. "Divorce isn't a picnic for men or women," says Warren, "but the economic strain falls disproportionately hard on women," who are often left to care for children or aging parents. "They have every cost that married couples do, and they're trying to do it on one income."
  • She didn't have a steady income. Also, like a lot of moms with very young children, Marian worked from home, helping out in her husband's business. In the event of a split, women without a full-time job or the skills to get one are the most financially unstable, says Harlene Miller, a bankruptcy lawyer in Santa Ana, Calif. "They (don't) have a significant employment base so they're less able to get out in the marketplace to start supporting themselves."
  • She wasn't paying attention to money matters. With three children and a struggling business, it's no wonder Marian pushed aside the bigger financial questions -- like how they would repay the family loans that floated their enterprise. Luckily, their families forgave those debts, but many women pay a price for keeping their heads in the sand, says Miller. She cites a client whose husband died suddenly at age 50, leaving her with over $100,000 in credit card debt that she'd had no idea about. "It's imperative for all women, as a matter of survival, to be involved in the family's finances," she says.
  • She took on more debt than she could handle. In her 17 years as a bankruptcy attorney, Miller has seen women pile up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt to get by. Marian did exactly that, tapping the equity in her home (which had been paid off) to borrow $100,000. She used the money to pay off a personal loan and medical bills and to cover her son's tuition at a special-needs school.
  • Many women don't adjust their lifestyle quickly enough. This is less true of Marian, who used her college accounting degree to get a job after the divorce and recently started her own business. But Warren says many women are vulnerable to going broke because they don't face the realities of what it takes to survive on one income and adjust speedily.

Nor would women's risk of bankruptcy be lowered much if they got more support from their ex-spouses, Warren says. "The increased cost of raising children has far outstripped the increase in child support."

"You do better if there are two parents, but the reality is that any parent is at much greater risk of collapse," she says. "It's parents who are pushing themselves to their limits to buy houses in decent school districts. It's parents who are struggling to pay for health insurance and a second car and good child care."

"And if a married couple can barely make it on two incomes, a single mother won't be able to make it on one and a quarter," assuming she gets that support from her ex, Warren adds.

Steer clear of bankruptcy court

Obviously, there are some times when filing for bankruptcy may be a woman's best or only solution. But despite being financially at risk, Marian would benefit little from filing for bankruptcy, Miller says.

Most of Marian's debt is secured, i.e. tied to her house. That debt would not be discharged, or forgiven, in a bankruptcy case. Women with unsecured debt, like credit card debt, used to have a better chance at seeing their financial slate wiped clean.

But a new law that took effect in late 2005 is far more stringent and focused on getting people to repay their debts, not walk away debt-free.

If you feel that bankruptcy might be your best choice, Miller advises consulting with a full-time bankruptcy lawyer who can help you decide if it's worth the consequences.

Meanwhile, if you feel you're at risk for bankruptcy based on these five financial risk factors, and especially if you're a married woman on the brink of divorce, act now to protect yourself:

  • Get savvy. If you're not on top of your finances, now is the time to take a crash course (and read lots of Women in Red articles, of course).
  • Divide your debts. Cancel all joint credit cards and other debts.
  • Claim your assets. Make sure your name is on the title to the house and on all investment accounts.
  • Shore up your career now. Don't wait for divorce, layoff or illness to strain your income.
  • Scale back your lifestyle now. "If you're getting divorced, you need to live on 50% of what you're used to," says Warren.
  • Know your rights. In the event of divorce, the IRS allows you to file an "innocent spouse" claim, if you feel you don't owe certain taxes.
  • Get financial counseling. Depending on your circumstances, you may not need bankruptcy if you can learn to live within your means.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

League of Women Voters Meeting

From Dendra Best
Manistee County League of Women Voters

The next meeting of the newly formed Manistee County League of Women
Voters will be held at 7pm at the Farr Center, Main Street, Onekama on
Monday June 5, 2006 . The League wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the
generous gesture of the Village of Onekama who waved the customary fee
for the use of the Farr Center.

With August primary elections plus local millage and proposals on the
ballot, as well as new voting machines to get used to - there will be
much to discuss with this month's Guest Speaker - Manistee County Clerk
Marilyn Kliber.

State level proposals and important filing dates may be viewed via a
link from the Manistee League's web site at www.lwvmanisteecounty.org.

An alternative date will be set for July as the customary First Monday
conflicts with the Holiday - but the location will be in Copemish in
keeping with LWV's intent to visit each Manistee County Community and
promote citizen involvement in local government and governance.
August's meeting is slated for the Wellston area, September for Kaleva
(again on an alternate date). October will see a full slate of
preparedness and forums for the November elections.

Anyone interested in learning about the Manistee League of Women Voters
is welcome to attend. Membership is open to anyone eligible to vote in
the US. You may print a form to mail or join via the web at

For more information please contact Jackie Johnson at 231 864 5030 or
email info@lwvmanisteecounty.org

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Laughing Matters Leader Certification Workshop

You remember Gail Robinson...we laughed with her at our November luncheon...Laughing Matters! is her program. Several area businesses hired Gail to conduct smaller workshops at their businesses after our luncheon. Gail is scheduled to be our speaker again in November 2006 - - - helping us to have a laugh through the traditionally stressful holidays.

Gail will be conducting a Laughter Leader/ Certification Workshop June 23 and June 24 in Lake Leelanau Michigan. This unique Laughter Workshop will benefit health care providers, counselors, yogo insturctors, therapists, teachers, social workers, and community volunteers...anyone who is ready to explore the scientifualy proven heath benefits of mirthful laughter while adding more joy, wellness, and relaxation to their life and the lives of others.

For more information contact Gail Robinson gail@laughingmatters.us 231-256-3477

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Stop Multitasking

Stop Multitasking

by Margaret Heffernan

We must carve out time to think.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 11:30, my calendar had an unmovable meeting. It lasted only half an hour but my assistant knew that on no account could it be changed or cancelled. And so, three days a week, at 11:30, I’d walk out the door; I’d be back at noon.

No, it wasn’t face time with the boss. I didn’t visit a therapist and I wasn’t at the gym. I held this all-important appointment for myself. It was my thinking time. I had finally reached the conclusion that, if I didn’t book time to think, I’d never do it. I couldn’t do it at my desk – phones, email, and In trays were too distracting. I couldn’t do it at home – kids, husband, garden, house, and the permanent pile of laundry were too demanding. If I wanted to think then I had to make time for it – and get that time protected.

What I’d discovered was the downside of multitasking. Nowadays, we scan our email while talking on the phone, check the Blackberry in the bathroom, make phone calls from the train. Women, we’re told, are natural multitaskers, confidently cooking dinner while on the phone and supervising homework. Men struggle to emulate us, proudly boasting that they too can attend soccer matches while listening in on conference calls. The competition is not just about how much work we can shift but how many different jobs we can complete simultaneously. Real leaders, we’re told, have a bias for action – so to look like leaders, we become hyperactive, never doing two things when we could be doing four.

What gets lost is thoughtfulness. We’ve gotten so attached to multitasking that we’re in danger of forgetting how to single-task. When did you last have a conversation, a real conversation, with a colleague or a friend – while paying them the compliment of your full, undivided attention? When did you last read a book and give yourself time to think about what it meant and whether or not you agreed with it? When did you last analyze the themes of your career to find out how you could achieve more?

My appointment with myself showed me many things. It always reminded me of something important that had been overlooked in the heat of the day. It often revealed patterns in my work, or the work of my colleagues, that indicated problems or opportunities. Occasionally, it made me see a mistake we could avert, or an opportunity that was staring us in the face. It regularly helped me to recognize patterns – in relationships, problems, products and markets.

Half an hour’s thinking time, three times a week, doesn’t seem like much. But you don’t actually need vast amounts of time to think; you just need that time to be focused and uncluttered. My half hour of walking around a very mundane city block didn’t change my life but it did change my way of working. It made me see the difference between being busy and being productive. I came to learn that having that uninterrupted conversation, for as long as was necessary, turned out to be more effective than the rushed corridor chat or the quick email. I learned that a lot of work, when you ignore it, really does go away – and no one cares. (This felt, and still feels, heretical.) I learned that thoughtfulness beat multitasking most of the time.

One of the places I do my best thinking nowadays is on planes. I used to hate flying and I’m not a big fan now. But I appreciate the fact that the phone won’t ring, no new emails will arrive, and I probably am not going to run into anyone I have to talk to. On a plane, I can think. It’s something I can never do in the office.

When asked if they wanted to be able to use cell phones on flights, most passengers said no. They didn’t want to overhear other peoples’ conversations, they didn’t want to be contactable. Like me, I think they’ve come to treasure their time alone in the sky. When I speak at conferences and I ask my audience how much time they get to think, mostly what I get is nervous laughter. We all know that we should think – but we also all know that it is impossible to do at work. We have built a knowledge economy that depends, for its very survival, on thinking. But we have built organization and offices which won’t let us think. We have to walk around the block, or fly around the world, in order to do what is the very heart of our work.

That we have built organizations which preclude the one activity they’re designed for is an irony of monstrous proportions, well beyond the scope of a single individual to fix. Solutions aren’t going to emerge quickly or easily. They certainly won’t emerge in the white heat of multitasking. What, as individuals, we need to do is carve out our own thinking time and learn to protect it. We need to do so on the understanding that this is not not working – it is the foundation of work itself. When I see spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations flickering on planes, I feel a twinge of regret. I want to say: Stop it! Your boss isn’t watching. No one will walk in. The phone won’t ring. You have the luxury of uninterrupted time. Seize it. Cherish it. Catch up on the one task that never figures on your Action List. Sit back. Shut your eyes. And think. You won’t regret it.

Mentoring Margaret Heffernan Fast Company

Fast Company

Of Proteges and Pitfalls

A complete plan for getting the mentoring you need.

From: Issue 97| August 2005 | Page 81 By: Margaret Heffernan and Saj-nicole Joni

When John (unless explicitly identified by full name and company affiliation, names have been changed to protect identities) worked for a global energy company, he gained skills and visibility through the coaching of his mentor and boss, Richard. But when Richard fell out of favor, suddenly John lacked cover. He was so strongly associated with his boss that his stock started to fall, too.

Alice was so effectively advised by her mentor that she started to overtake him. When Alice found herself within striking distance of his job, she was distraught. If she didn't go for it, her company's hard-charging culture would write her off. But if she did, she'd feel disloyal.

Ah, mentoring. No one disputes its value, but its pitfalls are legion. Since the 1970s, studies have repeatedly demonstrated that mentoring is the single most valuable ingredient in a successful career for both men and women. So now everybody wants a mentor. But mentors aren't fairy godmothers; they can't and shouldn't be expected to make all your dreams come true. For women and minorities in particular, the overexpectation problem is acute. Female leaders are often expected to fill the roles of mother, sister, girlfriend, and activist -- and do their day job. Minority executives speak of a responsibility to "lift as we rise," to improve conditions for the whole group while carving out their own careers. Men are often wary of mentoring women, fearing gossip and innuendo, but they also don't want to appear sexist. Considered together, it's inevitable that mentoring will consistently create issues of trust and confidence. So how can you negotiate these effectively? What should you be thinking about when initiating a relationship with a mentor, and what should you expect? What are the rules of the mentoring game?

1. Choose well

Find someone who is committed to the relationship, will give it time, wants to see you thrive, and doesn't need to compete with you. Be explicit about needing honest feedback, not just moral support. A great mentor tells you when you're brilliant, but more important, delivers tough love. This also means that you have to be prepared to listen to some hard truths and awkward questions. When Saj-nicole Joni was a rising executive at Microsoft, her finance person kept making mistakes, which she pointed out as soon as he passed out his spreadsheets. Meeting with her mentor, Jeff Raikes, she expected praise for the division's best ever quarter. Instead, he read her the riot act. "I don't care if Jack's numbers are wrong, or how smart you are," he said. "You don't treat a junior employee like that in front of others. If you don't fix this, you aren't going anywhere." Tough love of the best sort. And Joni fixed it fast.

2. Get formal mentors

Many companies run formal mentoring programs, and if yours does -- go for it. You can learn a great deal about corporate policies, politics, and fault lines just by watching these relationships. But when mentor and protege work for the same company, there will always be things that can't safely be discussed.

When Jane signed up for her ad agency's mentoring program, she was a little daunted when the company assigned Jacqui to be her mentor. A managing associate, Jacqui had a reputation as a ferocious leader who drove teams hard to get results; she had little interest in feedback or dialogue. Jane learned a lot from her, though, and they got along well. But when Jane heard that most of Jacqui's group thought Jacqui was heading for a fall because she wasn't listening, Jane could only take it in, not intervene. Formal mentoring programs obey formal lines of command. There's a limit to what you can share.

3. Mentors don't have to be the boss

Not all mentoring relationships need to be so formal or follow the chain of command. When Paige Arnof-Fenn ran the Olympic Coin Program, which raised funds for the Atlanta Olympics, her mentor was her assistant, Beverly Spears. "I learned more watching Bev handle people and situations than you can imagine," she says. "She always took the high road and never compromised her integrity." Spears's ability to teach Arnof-Fenn how to handle complex personality politics turned Arnof-Fenn into a strong corporate player and illustrates how mentors can be found at any level. Their informal relationship continues to this day, because it wasn't fundamentally based on their business relationship.

4. Find expertise mentors

We all have areas of expertise. Find someone -- inside or outside your organization -- who you consider outstanding in your field. When Ed Hotard was COO of Praxair, a Union Carbide spinoff, he made a habit of introducing his highfliers to leaders in the same disciplines in other companies. He wanted to give them the opportunity to stretch themselves in their field. But some were too preoccupied with day-to-day operations to find the time. "I didn't blame them," he says, "but I found that those who didn't take advantage of the introductions weren't going to progress very far." Hotard provided expertise mentors to deepen his proteges' knowledge and experience, but he also used the introductions to test for professional and intellectual ambition.

5. Find a third opinion

When you get to the top, you can't look to a mentor for all the answers. Problems are too complex and time consuming. Instead, find someone who looks for answers with you. You need a third opinion -- a thinking partner outside your company, often on retainer, who has no vested interest in anything except your success.

Ramon got his first leadership break when he became EVP of manufacturing at Coatings Worldwide, an industrial paints and adhesives business. But he found that his manufacturing teams were so siloed that they caused expensive production breaks. His first thought was to hire better people, but that would cost time and money with no guarantee of success. He knew he needed a different approach. Hearing Anesh, an experienced player in global manufacturing, speak at a conference gave him an idea. Ramon needed his breadth of experience, so he invited him to Coatings as a consultant and paid him to reframe and test the issues. "Anesh challenged my thinking and made me stretch to see areas I wouldn't have otherwise considered," he says. Anesh was a great mentor because he didn't have an agenda. He was an outsider, and he didn't have a solution he was trying to sell. This let him frame the questions differently and move beyond fault finding.

6. Think life, not just career

We tend to think of mentors purely in the context of work, but work is just part of your whole life. Holly, a software executive at General Electric, argues that you need mentors for each part of your life -- who, together, represent a personal board of directors. "The key to the personal board of directors is to make sure it is balanced," says Holly. "If it is all work and no family, then guess where your advice will be skewed? If you neglect one area of your PBOD, you will neglect that area of your life." If financial security, community, or spiritual life are important to you, find mentors for these, too. Having a personal board doesn't just enrich your life, it also protects you from a dependency on a single mentor. And it puts you in a strong position to evaluate where your mentoring relationships are thriving -- and when it's time for a change.

Sidebar: Pointers for Mentors

Choose wisely.

Choose a protege you can learn from, too -- someone who may give you some insight into different layers of your organization.

Be serious.

Don't commit to a mentorship if you can't invest the necessary time. Block out regular meetings, set goals, and plan on spending at least one hour a month.

Observe boundaries.

Know what kind of mentor you are and concentrate on that role. Make sure you and your protege understand the limits on trust within an organization.

Encourage outside voices.

If you can't provide the third opinion to your protege, make sure he or she gets one from somewhere outside the company.

Introduce your protege to other mentors.

This lessens dependency and provides other growth opportunities. A network of mentors beats a single one and provides an outstanding model for leadership.

Sidebar: Open-Source Mentoring

Memo to General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt: We hate to be the ones to tell you, but apparently there was a much easier way. The International Mentoring Network Organization (IMNO) is a nonprofit group devoted to helping early- and midcareer professionals connect with A-list mentors. Its idea is that everyone should be able to have access to the Welchian wisdom Immelt received. So IMNO founder Patrick Tedjamulia paired with two friends to reach out to bigfoot mentors, interview them, and share their knowledge with everyone at IMNO.org. Among their gets so far are, yes, Jack Welch, Larry Bossidy, even a storyboard artist from Spiderman 2 (IMNO refreshingly knows not everyone wants to be GE's CEO).

There are several ways to use IMNO.org. One is to interview your own mentor and post the transcript. Or you can choose a dream mentor and request that he or she sit for an interview. Or you can just read others' postings.

IMNO's transcripts offer several advantages over career-advice tomes, and most of the credit belongs to hungry mentees who don't beat around the bush about wanting to get ahead. For example, Bossidy was asked how to advance at GE (succeed in projects that touch a variety of industries) and when to jettison a good gig for a risky one (when you've learned all you can in a job).

Like any open-source project, the site is free. What you achieve with the advice, of course, could be invaluable.

-- Mike Brewster

Sidebar: Match.com for Mentors

Those who lead charmed professional lives might find a trusted career mentor in an office down the hall, or maybe even in the next cubicle. But how will you find that perfect sounding board if he or she toils hundreds -- or thousands -- of miles away?

Forward-thinking companies are turning to Mentor Scout, a Web-based mentor-matching tool created by Nobscot Corp. An annual subscription costs anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000, depending on the number of participants. Home Depot, Best Buy, and even Brunswick Corp.'s bowling division have adopted the technology to help far-flung operations managers.

General managers-in-training at Brunswick Bowling & Billiards can log on to the system, fill out a member profile -- including skills they want to improve -- and up pops a list of volunteer mentors from within the company that fit the bill. "I don't want to say it's like a dating service, but it kind of works that way," says Dean Schuller, a longtime general manager.

Using the service, newly minted Brunswick manager Kelly FitzGerald, based in Chicago, found a mentor in Philadelphia. "Because we connected through the Web, a mentor doesn't have any preconceived notion of what you know," Fitz-Gerald says. "You just have to ask them for help, and it's all confidential." Besides, there can be some advantages to a mentor who can't see a messy desk -- or catch you rolling a few extra frames after closing.

-- MB

Margaret Heffernan is a fastcompany.com columnist and author of The Naked Truth (Jossey-Bass, 2004). Saj-nicole Joni is CEO of Cambridge International Group and author of The Third Opinion (Portfolio, 2004).

Copyright © 2005 Mansueto Ventures LLC. All rights reserved.
Fast Company, 375 Lexington Avenue.,New York , NY 10017

Friday, May 12, 2006

Give Mom the Gift of Financial Security

Give Mom the Gift of Financial Security This Mother’s Day
AAUW: Nearly One-Half of U.S. Adults Don’t Know Mom’s Financial Situation
WASHINGTON – While repaying mom for all she’s done in years past may be an impossible task, asking her a few simple questions right now may make a difference when it comes to her financial future. A recent American Association of University Women Educational Foundation survey of U.S. adults found that 40 percent knew very little or nothing about mom’s financial situation. In addition, the poll found that younger adults – those whose mothers have not yet reached retirement age – are less likely to know the importance of Social Security to the economic security of their mothers. According to the report, Social Security is the largest source of income for older women and is expected to remain so.
“The best gift you can give mom this Mother’s Day would be to supply her with financial information concerning her retirement,” said Catherine Hill, interim director of research at the AAUW Educational Foundation. “Women today live on average three years longer after the age of 65 than men do and, unfortunately, too many women spend their retirement years in poverty. They also tend to marry somewhat older men, which means women are more likely to be on their own when they retire.”
Whether it’s Social Security, pensions, 401(k)s, or personal savings, knowing what questions to ask mom about her personal financial situation may make a huge difference in her retirement and her life as a whole.
Useful thoughts and facts to share with mom this Mother’s day
· While the average 65-year-old woman can expect to live another 20 years, she has a 14 percent chance of living for 30 years to her 95th birthday. Savings need to comfortably stretch past “average” life expectancy.
· Over time, the value of mom’s nest egg will decrease as the cost of living rises. Even a modest inflation rate of 3 percent will make $100 today worth about $74 in 10 years; after 25 years, the value would drop by more than half to $45.
· Social Security is the only source of retirement income that is fully protected from inflation and longevity. Mom maximizes her Social Security benefit by delaying the date that she begins receiving benefits.
· Mom can continue to work while receiving Social Security retirement benefits. Even if she begins taking benefits before the normal retirement age, she might need or want to continue working. If she begins receiving benefits before the normal retirement age, much of her earnings will be exempt from the “earnings test.” Furthermore, reductions made under the earnings test result in higher benefits later on, when she stops working altogether.
· Recent proposals to privatize Social Security have been thwarted. Further, such plans usually exempt current retirees and workers close to retirement age. Nevertheless, it makes sense for mom and you to keep your eye on Social Security in next election cycle to ensure that future generations can retire with security. Privatizing Social Security would substantially reduce benefits and significantly increase the national debt.
· Be sure to ask mom about a power of attorney should something unexpectedly happen to her. With a power of attorney, a family member will be able to act on mom’s behalf regarding financial, legal and medical matters.
Or visit www.aauw.org
Contact Ashley Carr at 202/466-9633 for more information regarding the AAUW survey or to schedule interviews.
Available interviews
Catherine Hill, AAUW Interim Director of Research, AAUW Education Foundation – For information about the report
Lisa Maatz, Director of Public Policy, American Association of University Women – For information about AAUW’s public policy position
Maria Umbach, Vice President, Prudential Financial – For information on retirement
for women
Survey methodology
Lake Research Partners added the requested questions to an omnibus phone survey of 1,015 adults ages 18 and older, including 508 men and 507 women, living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted from March 16 to March 19, 2006.
The AAUW Educational Foundation is a leader in research on the educational and economic status of women and girls. Its research on gender equity issues raises public awareness and provides a call to action for educational institutions, policymakers, legislators, and the public. The AAUW Educational Foundation is also one of the world’s largest sources of funding exclusively for graduate women. Together with the American Association of University Women, a leading advocate for equity and education for women and girls since 1881, the Educational Foundation has adopted a multiyear programmatic focus, Education as the Gateway to Women’s Economic Security.
The Mom’s Retirement Security research project was made possible by a generous contribution from Judy Horan, AAUW Educational Foundation development vice president, in honor of her mother, Rose Steinkampf Horan.
AAUW: Because Equity Is Still an Issue

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Online Database of Women Experts -

SHESOURCE.ORG is an opportunity for the media to help close the gender gap in the news.

Despite their growing ranks as experts in fields ranging from national security and military spending to technology and health care, women continue to be drastically underrepresented in the news media as shapers of policy and leading voices of experience and authority on critical issues.

Too many journalists do not quote women as experts simply because they do not know any women who are experts in the fields that they cover.

SheSource.org closes the gender gap in news coverage by making it easy for journalists to connect with women experts to quote and voice their opinions on topics of interest. With a few quick clicks, journalists can find women experts in a variety of fields all across the country.

SheSource.org is an online database of women experts on diverse topics for journalists. SheSource.org is designed to include spokeswomen from a variety of backgrounds, representing demographic and ethnic diversity as well as work in a variety of issue areas - particularly ones that are traditionally male-dominated.

SheSource.org is the cornerstone of an initiative by The Women's Funding Network, Fenton Communications and The White House Project to foster more representative public discourse by increasing the number of women whose opinions are reflected in the news media.

Journalists can search for experts by issue, simply by using the pulldown boxes on the front page of the SheSource.org web site. A list of women who fit the search criteria will be displayed with link to their biographies, which includes detailed information about their expertise, media experience, background, and contact information.

Manistee County League of Women Voters

The Manistee  County League of Women Voters is moving full steam ahead!
On May 1 the new organization officially became a Member At Large
group affiliated with the State of Michigan League of Women Voters.
The next meeting of the local organization will be held 7pm Monday,
June 5 at the Farr Center in Onekama. Each of the next monthly meetings
will be at a different community throughout the county to build
membership in preparation for holding candidate forums throughout the
county prior to the November elections. The local organization has an
official website (www.lwvmanisteecounty.org) where interested
individuals, men as well as women, can learn about who and what the
League is as well as obtain a membership form. At the last meeting
members worked in groups to list the activities they wanted to see LWV
Manistee County take on. The list was prioritized with the final
emphasis being to begin preparing a "They Serve You" publication
listing all elected and appointed positions within the county, the
terms and when they expire, how to register to vote, with links to
information sources such as the county clerk. For more information
about this new Manistee County group, or to offer to host a meeting in
your community, e-mail info@lwvmanisteecounty.org or call

New Books Available at the Library

Two new books are now available at the Manistee County Library thanks to the Women’s netWork and two authors who spoke in Manistee recently. “The One Decision” by Judith Wright and “Bold Spirit” by Linda Hunt have been added to the Women’s netWork section of the library.
Judith Wright spoke at the April netWork luncheon that was attended by 142 women in the area. According to Wright, making the One Decision and choosing a life of MORE—purpose, fulfillment, satisfaction, love, career, and worldly success—is a definitive act, one that will separate your life into the time before and the time after. Your One Decision leads you to be the very best you can possibly be. Have the sense that your life counts—a life of more of everything you desire.
“She was very inspirational and a number of women purchased her book at the luncheon,” said Judy Ouvry, a co-founder of the netWork. “And Judith has invited local women to attend a training at the Wright Institute in Chicago in August. More information about that can be found on her web site” (judithwright.com).
Linda Hunt was a speaker during last week’s Celebrating Women Festival. She donated a copy of her book, “Bold Spirit, Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America”.
Desperate. Determined. Unwaveringly confident. In 1896, a Norwegian immigrant named Helga Estby dares to cross 3500 miles of the American continent to win a $10,000 wager. On Foot. BOLD SPIRIT: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk across Victorian America introduces readers to this fascinating journey of an audacious act of courage and love of a mother trying to save a family farm.
The Women’s netWork section of the library was started with a collection of over 50 books donated by area women in December 2005 through the Women’s netWork.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

MI Supreme Court Justice Weaver May Speaker

Justice Weaver will be the speaker at the May 18 luncheon. RSVP to manisteewomen@yahoo.com Tickets are $10 at the door. It will be held at the Little River Casino Resort. Doors open 11:30am until 1:15pm. Ticket price includes a great lunch.

Justice Weaver, of Glen Arbor, attended undergraduate school at H. Sophie Newcomb College, receiving her bachelor's degree, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1962. She earned her law degree from Tulane University in 1965, served as an editor of the Tulane Law Review, received the Order of the Coif, and served as law clerk for Judge Oliver P. Carriere of the Louisiana Civil District Court. Justice Weaver began her law practice in Louisiana, then in Michigan in 1973. Elected Leelanau County probate/juvenile judge in November 1974, she was re-elected to six-year terms in 1976 and 1982, serving through January 1, 1987. In 1986, Justice Weaver was elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals, 3rd District, for a six-year term, and was re-elected in 1992. She was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1994 and served as Chief Justice from 1999-2000. She was reelected in 2002. Justice Weaver's term expires January 1, 2011.

Justice Weaver was appointed to the Michigan Commission on Criminal Justice by Governor William Milliken; to the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice by Governors James Blanchard , John Engler, and Jennifer Granholm. She was also appointed to chair the Governor's Task Force for Children's Justice and the Trial Court Assessment Commission by Governors Engler and Granholm. She has served as chair of the State Bar of Michigan Juvenile Law Committee and as president of the Top of Michigan Probate and Juvenile Judges Association. In addition, Justice Weaver has served on the National Council of Juvenile and Family Judges and as secretary of the Probate and Juvenile Judges Association of Michigan. Justice Weaver's honors and awards include being selected as one of five "Outstanding Young Women in Michigan" by the Michigan Jaycees and as one of "Thirty Outstanding Women in Michigan" by the Michigan Womens' Commission. In 1999, she was named "Jurist of the Year" by the Police Officers Association of Michigan. In 2000, she received the "Michigan Champions in Childhood Injury Prevention: Lifetime Dedication to Children Award"; also in 2000, Justice Weaver was honored by Governor Engler and the Family Independence Agency for outstanding service to the children and families of Michigan. The Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals honored her in February 2002 for her exceptional service to and support of Michigan 's drug courts. In 2003, she was recognized as an "Outstanding Woman in Leadership and Learning" by Ferris State University . She has been featured in People magazine .

LUNAFEST Coming to Manistee

Eight Award Winning Films to be Featured at LUNAFEST

For more information and film photos, go to:

MANISTEE - - - - The Women’s netWork is hosting LUNAFEST as part of the 2006 Celebrate Women Festival. LUNAFEST will be held at the historic Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee Saturday, May 6th beginning at 6:00pm. LUNAFEST will be followed by cocktails and desserts at intermission, then guests will be treated to the DVD “Vagina Monologues” beginning at 8:15pm.

LUNAFEST was created to raise awareness about women's issues, highlight women filmmakers, bring women together in their communities and raise money for the Breast Cancer Fund.

LUNAFEST is a national film festival that showcases short films by, for and about women. LUNAFEST is a special evening where women (and their friends, families, partners, husbands and boyfriends) can gather to view a selection of diverse films. The films range from documentaries to animated shorts to dance narratives and cover topics such as women’s health, body image, sexuality, spirituality, sports, relationships, cultural diversity, breaking barriers and the environment.
LUNAFEST 2005-2006

The 2005 winning filmmakers come from around the globe and have won awards at film festivals from Sundance to Los Angeles with their inspirational films and stories. It is an honor to have them as part of LUNAFEST this year.

“We are very honored to have this opportunity to bring films of this quality to Manistee as part of the Celebrate Women Festival,” said Judy Ouvry, one of the event organizers. “If you appreciate quality award-winning films, this is an event you won’t want to miss. It is only fitting that the Women’s netWork bring this event to Manistee.”

As a special feature this year, LUNAFEST is turning 5, and in celebration they have compiled their top 8 films from the past 5 years for your viewing pleasure. Come celebrate with us on the 5th Year Anniversary of LUNAFEST!

Tickets are $25 per person ($50 per couple) and include LUNAFEST, cocktails and desserts and the Vagina Monologues. Tickets are available at the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau or the studios of Oldies 101.5 FM at 52 Greenbush. Doors open at 5:30 pm. The films will be shown in the historic Ramsdell Theater. Refreshments will be served in Hardy Hall. More information about LUNAFEST can be found at www.lunabar.com/lunafest/

The following films will be featured at part of LUNAFEST 2006

Liz Blazer
5 Minutes 25 seconds
Sexy Senior Seeks Same. Backseat Bingo is an animated documentary about the romantic lives of Senior Citizens.
Awards/Screenings: Official Selection Telluride Film Festival, Official Selection AFI Fest, First Prize Animation Magazine Student Award

Directed by Eric Escobar
11 Minutes 30 seconds
Meg McDermott (Reneé O’Connor) is a busy single mom juggling time spent in the National Guard and time spent caring for her two young children. The film begins on a typical crazy Monday morning as Meg gets her children ready for school. She receives a phone call that changes her life. A friend informs her that her National Guard unit will be activated for duty in Iraq in two weeks. This begins the ride that is the film. We witness Meg unravel as she struggles through a series of phone calls to figure out who will take care of her children. She cannot turn to her friends, the fathers of her children or her mother. What will she do?
Awards/Screenings: Official Selection Sundance Film Festival, Official Selection AFI Fest

Directed by Sara Rashad
17 Minutes 30 seconds
TAHARA revolves around Amina who must decide if she will submit to family pressure to circumcise her daughter or abandon this age old tradition because of pressure she recieves from her mother when her husband's away on a business trip. Does Amina find courage to save Suha from the brutal physical and psychological effects of female genital mutilation?
Awards/Screenings: Santa Barbara Int’l FF, Victoria Independent Film festival, DC Independent FF

Directed by Suju Vijayan
14 Minutes
Maya, home for her brother Nealís high school graduation, is forced to deal with their often overbearing, sometimes embarrassing mother, Asha. For as long as she can remember, Maya has been frustrated by what she sees as her mother's inability to listen to her or understand her. The free-spirited Asha, however, is seemingly oblivious to her daughter’s feelings, and instead forces unwanted and sometimes misguided advice on Maya, from the spiritual to the romantic. But Asha is not without surprises, forcing Maya to rethink her opinion of her mother...
Awards/Screenings: Santa Cruz Film Festival, LA Film Festival

Directed and Produced by Victoria Gamburg
A story about loss, despair and the possibility of redemption, set in the mysterious Russian city of St. Petersburg during its strange White Nights, when darkness never falls. A woman, Masha (Maria Voronina) searches fruitlessly, through morgues and down alleys, for a daughter who disappeared three years previous. A bored policeman ignores her when she tries to file yet another missing person report. Doggedly scanning St. Petersburg's many discarded children, she focuses on her own task and ignores their cries for help.
Awards/Screenings: Best Narrative Short, San Francisco Int'l Film Festival, Best Student Live Action Over 15-minutes, Palm Springs Shorts Fest, Official Selection Telluride Film Festival and Toronto Int'l Film Festival

Directed by Karen Lin
6 Minutes 24 Seconds
From infancy, an Asian American woman learns the game of perfection. But if your goal is perfection, will the game ever end? Milton Bradley’s game Perfection is “a race against time” where players must match shapes to a board in 60 seconds. The game mirrors an Asian American woman’s struggle to achieve success and gain her parent’s approval. Taught the game as an infant, she races into her teens winning competitions and getting straight A’s, only left to wonder whether or not her parents will love her even if she fails. Ultimately she must decide whether to end the game.
Awards/Screenings: LA Film Festival, San Francisco Int’l Asian America FF, Seattle Int’l FF, Vancouver Int’l FF

Directed by Carol Schreder
13 Minutes 45 Seconds
This is the story of two women who forge an unlikely friendship through a mistaken phone call. Janet, a troubled young woman, and Esther, and elderly holocaust survivor, engage in a conversation that transforms both of their lives.

Directed by JoDee Samuelson
15 Minutes 3 Seconds
Mabel is juggling the demands of work, teenagers and an elderly mother. Now, she is confronted with a new challenge: hot flashes and chin hairs! Before you can say "estrogen," purple-haired Mabel finds herself the unassuming heroine of her own adventure... the adventure of aging. MABEL'S SAGA is a touching, funny film without words that celebrates menopause as a natural transition, rather than a medical condition to be feared. The film blends animation with a lush musical landscape, offering a reassuring look at one of the most important passages in a woman's life.

Awards/Screenings: Winner- Montreal World Film Festival, Best Short- Atlanta Film Festival